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Biography

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An American tourist saw his paintings and offered a fair sum of money for it, changing the course of Roger's French painting career. Now living on Zaca he switched to more serious marine paintings. It was not long, with the help of a local french artist, that galleries in Nice, Cannes and London started to sell his marine paintings. Exhibitions followed in Nice, Paris, The Royal Society of Marine Artists in London, The Royal Acadamy, Coasts of Britain Exhibition, the Manchester Academy, plus various major exhibitions of marine art.

Roger's paintings began to be owned by quite a few notable people including The Duke of Edinburgh. But as he always maintained, he was never a proper artist in the fine art sense, always a bum quayside artist with a taste for painting boats and the sea. Never caring much for the arty community. Nevertheless, Roger's marine paintings today are commanding high prices.

Wanting a more northern light, he drove the bus up to Bergen in Norway and spent a year painting in the port. Buying a big old Scandinavian sailing/motor cargo vessel called Svint (unappropriately meaning Swift in English) he attempted to sail it back to the UK with his daughter Ailsa, the au pair, a couple of Norwegian friends, complete with bus and a pet rabbit. The big twin cylinder semi diesel engine blew a gasket half way across the North Sea. The weather turned nasty, they couldn't re-start the engine as Roger had forgotten to compress the air. It was an air start engine! Setting up a jury sailing rig with the few sails which weren't rotten they attempted to sail back to Norway. Luckily a fishing trawler spotted them and towed them back into Bergen. They were lucky as that coast of Norway is like a massive walled fortress dotted with hundreds of small offshore rocky islands. It is much too deep to drop an anchor and unless you choose the right gap to get in you are in trouble, especially with an onshore gale under jury rig and no engine. This was before the days of radar and GPS. All they had was a compass and a depth sounder.

Biography

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Copyright © 2011 Roger Murray

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